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Old 06-17-2004, 01:37 PM
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Some very interesting facts (non car related)

Total dedication and discipline!!! A friend gave me a copy of this to read today. It really makes you step back and take a look at what some of our military people does for their fellow soldiers. This is good reading.

TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER (Interesting Facts)


Posted on 04/28/2004 5:20:41 PM PDT by SandRat


TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER

Interesting facts about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Sentinels of the Third United States Infantry Regiment "Old Guard"

Q: How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?

A: 21 steps. It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

Q: How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why?

A: 21 seconds, for the same reason as answer number 1.

Q: Why are his gloves wet?

A: His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

Q: Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time, and if not, why not?

A: No, he carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

Q: How often are the guards changed?

A: Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

Q: What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?

A: For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30".

Other requirements of the Guard:

They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. They cannot swear in public FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES and cannot disgrace the uniform {fighting} or the tomb in any way.

After TWO YEARS, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt. There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.

The first SIX MONTHS of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are: President Taft, Joe E. Lewis {the boxer} and Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, {the most decorated soldier of WWII} of Hollywood fame. Every guard spends FIVE HOURS A DAY getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.

The Sentinels Creed:

My dedication to this sacred duty is total and wholehearted. In the responsibility bestowed on me never will I falter. And with dignity and perseverance my standard will remain perfection. Through the years of diligence and praise and the discomfort of the elements, I will walk my tour in humble reverence to the best of my ability. It is he who commands the respect I protect. His bravery that made us so proud. Surrounded by well meaning crowds by day alone in the thoughtful peace of night, this soldier will in honored glory rest under my eternal vigilance.

More Interesting facts about the Tomb of the Unknowns itself:

The marble for the Tomb of the Unknowns was furnished by the Vermont Marble Company of Danby, Vt. The marble is the finest and whitest of American marble, quarried from the Yule Marble Quarry located near Marble, Colorado and is called Yule Marble. The Marble for the Lincoln memorial and other famous buildings was also quarried there.

The Tomb consists of seven pieces of rectangular marble: Four pieces in sub base; weight - 15 tons;

One piece in base or plinth; weight - 16 tons;

One piece in die; weight - 36 tons;

One piece in cap; weight - 12 tons;

Carved on the East side (the front of the Tomb, which faces Washington, D.C.) is a composite of three figures, commemorative of the spirit of the Allies of World War I.

In the center of the panel stands Victory (female).

On the right side, a male figure symbolizes Valor.

On the left side stands Peace, with her palm branch to reward the devotion and sacrifice that went with courage to make the cause of righteousness triumphant.

The north and south sides are divided into three panels by Doric pilasters. In each panel is an inverted wreath.

On the west, or rear, panel (facing the Amphitheater) is inscribed:

HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD

The first Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was a sub base and a base or plinth. It was slightly smaller than the present base. This was torn away when the present Tomb was started Aug. 27, 1931. The Tomb was completed and the area opened to the public 9:15 a.m. April 9, 1932, without any ceremony.

Cost of the Tomb: $48,000

Sculptor: Thomas Hudson Jones

Architect: Lorimer Rich

Contractors: Hagerman & Harris, New York City

Inscription: Author Unknown

(Interesting Commentary)

The Third Infantry Regiment at Fort Myer has the responsibility for providing ceremonial units and honor guards for state occasions, White House social functions, public celebrations and interments at Arlington National Cemetery and standing a very formal sentry watch at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

The public is familiar with the precision of what is called "walking post" at the Tomb. There are roped off galleries where visitors can form to observe the troopers and their measured step and almost mechanically, silent rifle shoulder changes. They are relieved every hour in a very formal drill that has to be seen to be believed.

Some people think that when the Cemetery is closed to the public in the evening that this show stops. First, to the men who are dedicated to this work, it is no show. It is a "charge of honor." The formality and precision continues uninterrupted all night. During the nighttime, the drill of relief and the measured step of the on-duty sentry remain unchanged from the daylight hours. To these men, these special men, the continuity of this post is the key to the honor and respect shown to these honored dead, symbolic of all unaccounted for American combat dead. The steady rhythmic step in rain, sleet, snow, hail, heat and cold must be uninterrupted. Uninterrupted is the important part of the honor shown.

Recently, while you were sleeping, the teeth of hurricane Isabel came through this area and tore hell out of everything. We had thousands of trees down, power outages, traffic signals out, roads filled with downed limbs and "gear adrift" debris. We had flooding and the place looked like it had been the impact area of an off-shore bombardment.

The Regimental Commander of the U.S. Third Infantry sent word to the nighttime Sentry Detail to secure the post and seek shelter from the high winds, to ensure their personal safety.

THEY DISOBEYED THE ORDER!

During winds that turned over vehicles and turned debris into projectiles, the measured step continued. One fellow said "I've got buddies getting shot at in Iraq who would kick my butt if word got to them that we let them down. I sure as hell have no intention of spending my Army career being known as the damned idiot who couldn't stand a little light breeze and shirked his duty." Then he said something in response to a female reporters question regarding silly purposeless personal risk... "I wouldn't expect you to understand. It's an enlisted man's thing." God bless the rascal... In a time in our nation's history when spin and total b.s. seem to have become the accepted coin-of-the-realm, there beat hearts - the enlisted hearts we all knew and were so damn proud to be a part of - that fully understand that devotion to duty is not a part-time occupation. While we slept, we were represented by some damn fine men who fully understood their post orders and proudly went about their assigned responsibilities unseen, unrecognized and in the finest tradition of the American Enlisted Man. Folks, there's hope. The spirit that George S. Patton, Arliegh Burke and Jimmy Doolittle left us ... survives.

On the ABC evening news, it was reported recently that, because of the dangers from Hurricane Isabel approaching Washington, DC, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They refused. "No way, Sir!"

Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment; it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

Very, very proud of our soldiers in uniform

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Old 06-17-2004, 02:55 PM
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hu-rah

Hey kevin, I also got it and was likewise impressed
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Old 06-17-2004, 03:54 PM
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I impressed how stupid some of the guidelines are.
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Old 06-17-2004, 04:06 PM
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Ghetto, Are you currently enlisted? Have you served your country in any branch of the military?

If the answer to both of those is no, I respectfully ask that you keep your remarks to yourself. You just don't understand.

In your own words, "You're treading on thin ice."

Larry
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Old 06-17-2004, 05:36 PM
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I'm always on thin ice.

-cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.

-They cannot swear in public FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES

-The first SIX MONTHS of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor watch TV.

No I have not, but I know that 99.9% of those that do don't even get close to following the above guidelines. Maybe stupid was a harsh word. Would you agree they seem unnecessary?

Last edited by Ghetto Jet; 06-17-2004 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 06-17-2004, 06:00 PM
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Re: I'm always on thin ice.

Quote:
Originally posted by Ghetto Jet
-cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.

-They cannot swear in public FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES

-The first SIX MONTHS of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor watch TV.

No I have not, but I know that 99.9% of those that do don't even get close to following the above guidelines. Maybe stupid was a harsh word. Would you agree they seem unnecessary?
Okay, I just have to speak on this. Actually, I can't. If it needs to be explained, you'll never understand. Actually, the Sentinels can drink and swear off duty. How could those rules ever be enforced? They are awarded a badge upon completing their Sentinel training. Of the 500 badges earned for keeping duty at the Tomb, 9 have been revoked for bringing dishonor to the Tomb. Frequently asked questions[/URL] about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier can be answered here. By the way, its the .1% that matter!
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Old 06-17-2004, 06:09 PM
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I'm glad there is a knowledgeable member of the military on this board, thank you 345coupe. Had those specific comments been correct I would have not commented, as there would be no reason to.
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Old 06-17-2004, 06:42 PM
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I would NOT have a problem with those rules.

I have, and will never be able to serve in the military.

I have respect for those who are currently, or have in the past, served.

I don't understand why our government sends our services to some parts of the world, but it's their job, and they tend to do it well.

I don't ask questions, because of what two men endured while serving,
the first being a Vietnam veteran who conducted a presentation when I was in high school, and the second being my father.
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Old 06-17-2004, 07:02 PM
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Unfortunately, I grew up during the Vietnam era. Many friends and relatives were subjects of the military draft. Some that I knew, left vertically and returned horizontally. I did serve in the military myself. Altho every one of my generation did not serve, most have some knowledge of the military practices rules. I have found that of the younger generation, unless they have served in the military, they have no idea of the military world.

The military branches have some ideas that many people think serve no purpose. Many of those ideas serve only to increase the discipline, honor and image.

I enlisted in the Air Force in January 1973. The group that came to Basic Training the day after me, did not have to have all of their hair cut off, as had been the norm until then. It was a test, as long hair was a real big issue back then. They found that they had more discipline problems with that group, than they had had with the previous groups. It was felt that the individuality that was usually lost with everyone looking the same, with the same hair cut, had an effect on the discipline.

Most people that have not been in that type of environment really doesn't inderstand the importance of the discipline.
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Old 06-17-2004, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ghetto Jet
I'm glad there is a knowledgeable member of the military on this board, thank you 345coupe.
You are welcome, Ghetto Jet. For the record, I am not a member of the military, but I faithfully serve my country in other ways.

Last edited by 345coupe; 06-18-2004 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 06-17-2004, 07:22 PM
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I can't tell you if any of the guidelines are unnecessary. They are honorable men in a position that require the strictest discipline. The position and it's duties deserve respect.

The guidelines are about honor and discipline and the station is voluntary but highly selective. It's something that the men take very seriously.

I meant no disrespect in my reply, please don't take me a as a patriotic zealot. The military has played a huge role in my family. Both grandpa's and my father served when needed. My services have not been required yet. I'm reminded quite often of the price they and others paid for their service. The scars and limps they live with remind everyone.

Larry

I just read my post and I'm still coming across as a butthole. Sorry dude, it's just hard to talk about things that I take so seriously without sounding like a jerk.

Last edited by coldknock; 06-17-2004 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 06-17-2004, 07:43 PM
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Folks,

I still feel all folks of age should at least do a couple of years in the military. Right now service is on a volunteer basis. I understand that it is not for everyone, however, it is a service to the country. Times have changed and a lot of folks think of joining for the college, bonuses and educational benefits. The sense of duty is secondary if at all thought about.

Quote:
The military branches have some ideas that many people think serve no purpose. Many of those ideas serve only to increase the discipline, honor and image.


I agree with adkart that there are a lot of reasons the services do what they do. Some of them, yes even I wonder about sometimes. Like I said, times change and I have seen many changes to the Navy in my career.

I remember speaking to a younger person once about the military. The person said that they don't like the concept of military and went on for about 10 minutes explaining their convictions.

All I could say at the end was that because we serve people like this can say what ever they want. Iraqis are just figuring all this out. With all the negative press, look at the what the people are allowed to do now, under previous leaders people that express their views (privately or in public) met uncertain jail, torture or death.

I am glad ghetto jet has the choices to speak out and ask questions. That is the best way people can learn and all get the right facts.

Thanks kevin45 and 345Coupe with bringing dedication and commitment in light of the board.

Dutch
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Old 06-17-2004, 07:56 PM
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I wonder what the 9 guys who got the boot...did to get the boot?
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Old 06-17-2004, 08:07 PM
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4Jaw, they got drunk, had to take a leak and well you know, no trees around to piss on....

Thanks ok coldknock atleast you didn't come across as a butt hole in your second post lol. The parts that I thought were "stupid" turned out to not even be true as 345Coupe stated. However, this is for everyone, don't confuse my thinking something they have to do is stupid as a lack of respect for the people doing it. If they had to walk on their hands 21 paces back and forth I would applaud their dedication but still wonder what genius came up with that idea.

No hard feelings

Last edited by Ghetto Jet; 06-17-2004 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 06-17-2004, 08:16 PM
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That would be something to see there, Ghetto Jet.

Larry
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